The Queens Republican operative who was convicted of stealing more than a million dollars from the mayor during his last election campaign was sentenced Monday to spend at least a year in prison.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ronald Zweibel denied the request made by John Haggerty’s attorneys to give the Forest Hills resident probation for his October conviction on grand larceny and money laundering charges and ordered that he be held in prison for 1 1/3 years to four years.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who testified against Haggerty during the trial, gave the state Independence Party $1.1 million, which was meant to pay Haggerty for hiring poll watchers on Election Day. The 41-year-old, however, used almost all of that money to purchase a Forest Hills home.
Prosecutors wanted Haggerty to be sentenced to the maximum 5 to 15 years. Zweibel said his sentence was needed “to restore the public’s confidence in the electoral process.”
In addition to the prison time, Haggerty was ordered to pay $750,000 in restitution and will have a three-year conditional discharge following his stay in prison.
He was apologetic in court during the proceeding.
“If I could do it all over again, I’d do it much differently,” he said.
Ivan Pereira contributed to this story
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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